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Box Office: ‘Wolverine’ Carves Out $21 Million Friday

Fox can also expect strong int'l bow this frame

Expectations for Fox and Marvel’s “The Wolverine” continue to scale back as the spinoff drew in $21 million Friday, adjusting expectations to a three-day haul in the mid-$50 million range.

This is considerably dialed back from pre-weekend predictions that had the actioner earning upwards of $75 million, but it looks to still be a decent performer given the pic’s budget of $100 million. Still, it doesn’t look like “Wolverine” will be the film to restore Hollywood’s faith in the big-budget tentpole following a recent string of significant disappointments.

Further supporting the actioner’s success, Fox is rolling “Wolverine” out in 62 markets with an internationally bankable star in Hugh Jackman, and an popular franchise in “X-Men.”

During his last solo outing as Wolverine in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” international was responsible for $73 million of the film’s $158 million worldwide bow, and 53% of its lifetime cume. And that film was panned by critics and moviegoers.

Meanwhile in China, Universal had its biggest opening yet in the territory for “Fast and Furious 6” which opened with $6.9 million Friday. Pic is looking at a three-day around $24 million, China’s second highest opening behind “Iron Man 3.”

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Last week’s winner “The Conjuring” from Warner Bros. continues to perform strongly with $7.4 million from Friday, bringing its cume to $69.1 million.  Behind that, animated entries “Despicable Me 2” from Universal and “Turbo” from Fox took $4.8 million and $4 million respectively.

In a more conservative rollout, CBS Films unspooled “The To Do List” on 591 screens with a per screen average of about $1,000. The R-rated comedy is looking at almost $2 million through Sunday, recouping its $1.5 million budget and setting up for strong midweek business, where femme-focused laffers tend to play well.

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